Some of the best weekend getaway and day trip destinations are closer then expected. The Carolinas may not be known for their wineries, but they should be.
Selected for its pristine climate and soil conditions perfect for wine, the Yadkin Valley of North Carolina is the home of Shelton Vineyard. Sheltons facility eliminates the need for pumps and machines; instead the wine flows through the system using gravity, ensuring clean and contaminant free wine.
Banner Elk Winery and Villa
As the North Carolina High Countrys original winery, Banner Elk Winery and Villa is a winner of gold medals in the International Eastern Wine Competition. When visiting Banner Elk Winery we recommend touring the facility, tasting the wines, and staying overnight to relax in their luxurious villa.
Little River Vineyard and Winery
What started at 330 acres, Little River Vineyard, is now an astounding 1400 acres, and is a member of the National Register of Historic places. Perched on a southern sun-faced mountainside, Little River takes full advantage of the lush Mt. Gilead soil to grow its grapes for the on-site winery.
Windsor Run Cellar
Formally Buck Shoals Vineyard and the sister vineyard of Shadow Springs, Windsor Run Cellar, reopened in 2012 with an expanded tasting room channeling the traditional character of Buck Shoals. A community effort from three different family farms, Windsor Run continues to make and distribute the tastes that Buck Shoals was known for with a few new creations of their own.
RagApple Lassie Vineyard
RagApple Lassie is a champion, comfortably and casually donning ribbons and medals around her neck. So when the owner of the famous cow Frank W. Hobson Jr. decided to start a vineyard, her name was the obvious choice. Also a part of the rich Yadkin Valley, RagApple Lassie Vineyard grows juicy grapes ending in wine worthy of the RagApple Lassie name.
Terraced into the mountainside at the base of Grandfather Mountain, the aptly named, family-owned Grandfather Wines was the first wine producer in Watauga County and produce some of the finest wines in the state.
Frequent winner of regional and international competitions, RayLen Vineyards has over 200 medals in their collection. Tending to over 35,000 European vines, RayLen is a short ride from Winston-Salem and a must stop to try one of their 10 different European varietals.
Hike up and zipline down Sanders Ridge, then sip the fine wine while eating the delicious farm-to-fork cuisine in The Hearth restaurant. Sanders Ridge Winery grows and vinifies their nine varieties of grapes on site, and ships nationally.
If Biltmore is in the name, you know its top notch. Produced on the estate, Biltmore Wines facilities are sustainable and powered by an intricate solar panel system. Make time to taste the many varieties of reserve and sparkling wine while lodging in the estate.
Jones von Drehle Vineyards
The newest addition to the wineries of the Yadkin Valley, Jones von Drehle embodies the Carolinas. If you love their wine while visiting, then join their Cellar club to receive 2 shipments of 6 bottles shipped straight to your door.
Founded and operated by renowned NASCAR team owner Richard Childress, Childress Vineyards was opened right here in NASCARs backyard only a few short miles away from Childresss RCR Racing headquarters. Covering 72 acres and raising 11 varieties of European wine, Childress Vineyards 350 awards and recognitions make even the NASCAR team jealous.